As my staffing agency grew in the first several months, the nature of my job changed from being spent predominantly on sales and finding new clients to dealing more with employee issues.
I began to panic as I realized I was spending less time working on sales and recruiting and more time on staffing challenges and putting out proverbial fires.
Here are some of the challenges we faced (and still face) after putting employees to work:
- Employees having questions about the pay.
- Employees wanting to change their direct deposit or number of allowance on their tax forms.
- Disciplinary issues.
- Complaints about the nature of the work environment.
- Personality conflicts with other employees.
- Logistical challenges in arriving to work, child care issues, and family problems.
- Attendance or punctuality issues.
- Sick days.
- Transportation challenges.
During the same time, I was realizing just how hard recruiting employees was. It took money spent on advertising, filtering out candidates our clients wouldn’t be interested in, and very meticulous communication.
Some days, my team and I found it hard to spend much time recruiting. Since our business made money when we put people to work, it stressed me out to be dealing with employee issues.
Until I realized that good service to our current employees was the best recruiting method.
Whenever an employee would call with a question, instead of being annoyed at the question, we considered it an opportunity to offer good employee service. Offering an employee good service should have the same importance as offering a customer good service.
And often when speaking with good employees, we would end the call by asking the employee if they knew anyone else who was interested in working.
“We want someone who is a good, hard worker like you,” I would say, then add with a laugh: “Don’t send us anyone lazy, though.”
Often we would receive calls randomly from potential employees who were referred by someone who was already working for us.
A referral would often be the most affordable and often most effective way of finding a new employee.
Often when my clients ask me how we find employees, I first tell them we use many job boards (Indeed, ZipRecruiter, our own website, Facebook Jobs, and several other online methods), then I tell them about referrals and how effective they can be.
“Even today with all the technology and job boards, the ‘old school’ way of referrals if usually the best,” I will say. People always nod their heads in agreement when I say that.
Bottom line: focus most of all on giving your current employees great service.
It’s very similar to providing great customer service.
The best method of offering good service is not to do it hoping for something in return. (Although I do understand that in business it’s important to study how to grow.)
The best method is to enjoy the process and to perfect the process. Enjoy giving the employees good support. Even if that doesn’t yield a referral every time, you’ll enjoy your job more when you invest in the employees more. Appreciate your employees and care for them.
As you grow this way, you will find that you’ll become less selfish about results. And when you focus more on them, you’ll end up yielding better results in the long run.
It’s somewhat paradoxical. Care more about your employees than yourself. In the long run, this will serve your job better.